No Such Thing as a Best Practice When It Comes to Strategy

BY Celisa Steele

The tricky thing about good strategy is that it’s often deceptively simple. A big part of what makes it good is that it simplifies the confusion of all the evidence and options out there and focuses effort on the data and choices that matter.

At times, good strategy is so simple that it almost begs to be imitated. But good strategy is inimitable.

When it comes to strategy, there is no such thing as a best practice.

Sure, there may be best practices around a process for arriving at a strategy or implementing it once you have a strategy. But you can’t lift a brilliant strategy from another organization and apply it to yours.

The strategy needs to be organic, born out of out your organization’s unique set of circumstances, taking advantage of your strengths while being fully aware of the challenges you may encounter and how you can surmount them.

What’s more, strategy should be proactive, not reactive, and following someone else’s strategy, even a good one, keeps you in a reactive, present-day situation, rather than allowing you to look out to the future and proactively shape that future.

"Developing a Compelling Strategy for Your Education Business" WebinarIf developing (or revisiting) the strategy for your organization’s education business is on your mind—and strategy is essential if organizations are make coherent, intentional decisions about the myriad details that go into managing and growing an education business—join us for the complimentary “Developing a Compelling Strategy for Your Education Business” Webinar on March 26.

All registrants receive a link to the recording. Sign up at

We’re grateful to Web Courseworks for sponsoring the Webinar so we can offer it for free, and we know that Web Courseworks believes “compelling strategy can lay the groundwork for success at every stage,” so it’s great to have them engaged around this topic.


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  1. “But you can’t lift a brilliant strategy from another organization and apply it to yours.” This line is so true. And I think the same applies to technology decisions. To make successful choices about your association or business, you need to sit down and identify your specific audience, your goals, the trends you are seeing in your industry. From this analysis and research, you can start to define your requirements and what’s going to make you successful not just this year, but 5 years from now (since the market will change and your members’ needs will likely evolve).

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